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Dutch Draft horse breed information

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Dutch Draft description

The purpose of draft breeding in Holland is to produce a large, massive horse, strong and solidly built. It should have a head with a straight profile, short, lively ears, a strongly muscled front, good withers, a heavily muscled loin and hind quarters, with good muscle in the legs and good feet. The movements should be spacious and easy. The Dutch Draft must be able to do hard work for extended periods of time.

The most valuable characteristic of this draft horse is its exceptionally quiet disposition and the unhurriedness of its movements. Although its known as a quiet horse, it can "turn a lively foot" when required. This makes it a good animal for many small farmers on mixed farms in sandy regions and largely explains why the Dutch Draft is so often found in Gelderland and to some extent in North Brabant and Limburg. The popularity of this horse in the provinces of Overijssel and Drenthe, adjoining Gelderland to the north, may well have been due to thesesame qualities. All this, however, is now largely a thing of the past.

This is the heaviest of all Dutch breeds and is particularly suitable for prolonged and heavy haulage or traction. Increasing mechanization and motorization have decreased the decline for heavy horses, but a number of good, sound breeding animals still exist.


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Dutch Draft color

Dutch Draft is generally chestnut, bay or gray, with black seen rarely.

Dutch Draft size

About 16 hands

Dutch Draft weight

Approximately 1,400 to 2,000 lbs (630 - 900kg)

Dutch Draft temperament

This horse breed is known as a quiet animal,but it can "turn a lively foot" when required.

Dutch Draft origin

The Dutch Draft is a relatively new breed of horse developed in Holland after 1918. They were developed by cross-breeding the Brabant, Zeeland-type Dutch mares and the Belgian Ardennes, and still bear a resemblance to the Brabant.

Dutch Draft history

This breed was found in great numbers in the provinces of Zeeland and North Brabant, where it did excellent work on large arable farms in the heavy marine clay. It was also represented in fairly considerable numbers on large farms in the marine clay areas of the province of Groningen, although it did not succeed in out doing the Groningen horse, whose qualities were more in keeping with the character of the farming population. In the province of South Holland, and more particularly on the island, on large farms where practices were influenced by those of Zeeland and western North Brabant, the Dutch Draft horse was also used.

Dutch Draft uses

The Dutch Draft is popular for being able to endure long periods of work. This is even if they have to work on heavy loads. The Dutch Draft however also faces the same problems as any draft or work horse alive today. They are no longer as necessary as they once were even in small family farms. Machines now perform the traditional work of draft horses.

Dutch Draft influence

Brabant (Belgian Draft), Zeeland

Dutch Draft interesting facts

This horse breed is rarity today.

Dutch Draft farms

Cavaletti-Hoeve - Netherlands, Overijssel, Blokzijl

Winsome Stables - United States, Pennsylvania, Hollidaysburg

Dutch Draft pictures

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